In early January 2008, public health officials in Wisconsin and California investigated E. coli cases in state residents who had eaten hamburgers at Tony Roma’s in the days before becoming ill with E. coli O157:H7 infections. Public health agencies began a full epidemiologic investigation of the E. coli cases, and learned that five Wisconsinites and one Californian had become infected with a genetically indistinguishable strain of E. coli O157:H7.
Records indicated that Tony Roma’s had obtained its ground beef patties from Rochester Meat Company, and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that Rochester Meat Company was recalling approximately 188,000 pounds of ground beef due to contamination with E. coli O157:H7 on January 12, 2008. In its recall announcement, USDA stated that the recall had been made necessary due to epidemiologic evidence linking Rochester Meat ground beef served at Tony Roma’s restaurants to an E. coli outbreak.
Marler Clark filed E. coli lawsuits against Rochester Meat Company on March 13, 2008 and October 24, 2008. The claims have all been resolved.